7 Toxic Effect Of Sleep Deprivation On Creative Productivity - thecreativesoasisblog (2023)

Sleep deprivation is a norm among writers that has devastating toxic effects on our creative productivity.

Have you ever worked for a full 24hrs straight and felt normal the next morning? I guess not. Your morning routine will feel like crap.

You’ll feel drowsy, disoriented, and exhausted, along with the head-splitting migraine, lack of focus, and motivation to do anything except stare at your cream-colored walls or go back to sleep.

These are signs of sleep deprivation.

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Consciously depriving you of sound, quality sleep as a writer for lengthy periods because of your creative projects is injurious to your mental and physical health.

Sound sleep, relax, repair, rejuvenate, and refill your creative bank with enough juice to keep you active and productive daily.

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Writing is exhausting and mentally tasking because your mind is constantly in overdrive, imagining, thinking, plotting, and reshuffling pieces to fit the picture you are painting on your canvas.

This process is consuming and demanding, especially as a young writer striving to develop yourself, which may push you to opt for longer work hours while sacrificing your sleep.

Forfeiting your sleep for more work hours might seem like nothing important until it becomes a repeated, addictive process that drains your mental energy and leaves you out to dry.

You don’t want to cultivate poor sleeping habits as a young writer. The toxic effects on your creative productivity are innumerable.

Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation And Creative Productivity

Sleep deprivation is a consistent, conscious avoidance of sleep. It is depriving you of quality sleep to create more time for your scheduled activities.

Creative productivity is the volume of creative work you tick off your daily planner as scheduled by you.

Measuring creative productivity is subjective to the writer, but it’s usually about your set writing goals for a period.

Sleep deprivation has a direct relationship with creative productivity because a lack of sleep leads to poor productivity, inferior quality of creative work, lack of will and motivation to write a word, and disorientation.

Lack of sleep can lead you to produce draft copies that are half-baked and ridden with errors, lack clarity, and are devoid of style, begging for mercy because you wrote them while half-asleep on your monitor.

Or after depriving yourself of sleep for days.

The result? You’ll have to start afresh. After an uninterrupted week or even a month of sleep and proper self-care.

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To produce quality work as a writer, you need to take your self-care seriously, which advocates quality sleep as an effective way to practice self-care.

Without enough sleep, your creative productivity will suffer alongside your consistency and goals.

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Effect Of Sleep Deprivation On Creative Productivity

The effects of poor sleep on your productivity as a writer are glaringly obvious when you measure your performance.

Sleep deprivation impairs your crucial cognitive and executive functions which are vital to your creative productivity.

Here are 7 effects of sleep deprivation on your creative productivity.

  1. It Impairs Creativity

Fatigue and micro-sleep in the long run impair your ability to think creatively because your mind is in a chaotic state and has jumbled together your thoughts in a muddy mess.

For your imaginative mind to thrive, it needs a healthy space that provides room for clarity of thought. You can’t expect to think or write clearly when half your body is screaming at you.

Nor can you create any quality piece of work, when you’re half struggling to keep your eyes open and figuring out why the keys on your keyboard look so strange.

  1. It Causes Irritability And Terrible Mood Swings

Sleep deprivation causes a drastic change in your mood swings and increases your irritability levels.

You’ll become grumpier and easily put off by the things you previously enjoyed doing. This impairs your productivity because mood swings and irritability create room for procrastination to thrive.

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  1. It Causes The Production Of Erroneous Work

It isn’t out of place for exhaustion to cause you to make mistakes while working. A lack of concentration precedes it.

Your inability to focus will cause you to overlook tiny details in your work, which will ruin long hours of good work in just minutes.

Imagine writing and struggling to keep your mind alert at the same time. I sure bet that you’ll find paragraphs laced with repetitive words or obscure sentences in the morning.

  1. It Reduces Your Productivity

In the absence of quality sleep, your creative productivity will suffer. Your performance will rank below average and way below your expectations, which may cause you to spiral negatively.

Frustration and disorganization will set in, making a simple task seem unworthy, laborious, and time-consuming.

Your future projects will suffer from a backlog of uncompleted or poorly done projects which tanks your writing goals and drag your creative productivity through the mud.

  1. It Causes Easy Distractibility

Fatigue causes you to become easily distracted by the most insignificant of distractions. Things that will not normally hold your attention will have it for a long period.

Imagine staring at the wall for hours. It’s usually but not uncommon if sleep deprived. It’s your mind’s way of trying to grapple with the chaos inside your head.

  1. It Causes A Lack Of Motivation

Usually, even non-sleep-deprived writers struggle with maintaining motivation and riding with it, how much more a sleep-deprived one.

Your motivation will pack its bags and take flight once your muddy mind beckons to it. No matter how many times you try to grasp a hold of it, it’ll only flicker and slip through.

Without motivation, there’s a very high possibility that’ll remain stuck in a spot for the longest, most excruciatingly painful moment of your career struggling with writer’s block.

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  1. It Causes Break In Consistency

Consistency is the key to improving your performance and creative productivity as a writer, but allowing your lack of sleep to rub you off is unwise.

Writers need to maintain a consistent creative flow to grow and thrive, but there’s a lot that hinders that goal.

Consistency and creative productivity have a yin-yang relationship. One cannot attract the expected results without the other.

So, take that nap when needed and return to your keyboard revitalized.

Tips For Sound Sleep To Improve Your Creative Productivity

  • Schedule your sleep time and keep to it daily.
  • Wind down with a relaxing activity like yoga, reading a book or magazine, listening to soothing music, or having a bath 30 minutes before nap time.
  • Exercise regularly, about 30 minutes per day (done earlier in the day or 2–4 hours before bedtime)
  • Limit naps to about 30 minutes and none after 3 p.m.
  • Avoid stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine) 4–6 hours before bedtime
  • Your bedroom should be prepared to serve the purpose of sleep. Take work to your study.
  • Eat healthily. Avoid heavy and spicy meals 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Turn off your television, computers, and phones an hour before bedtime. Don’t keep your phone close to your bed.
  • Let go of the day’s failures and be grateful for what you have achieved.
  • Make a to-do list for the next day as this reduces worry and anxiety.
  • Switch off the light and take out any source of noise from the bedroom. The temperature of the bedroom should be just perfect for you.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of alarm clocks. They affect your sleep.
  • You can play relaxing background music to lure you to sleep.
  • Invest in a great mattress and suitable bedding for a comfy feel when sleeping.
  • Consult a health practitioner where these tips aren’t substantive.


It is impossible to separate sleep from creativity. Better concepts, ideas, and innovation filter through your mind when you have clarity of thought.

In the long run, sleep deprivation and micro-sleep will impair your creative productivity and eventually ruin your physical, emotional, and mental health.


Creative productivity and sleep deprivationEffects of sleep deprivationHealthy sleep habits for writersSleep and mental healthTips for healthy sleepToxic effects of microsleep

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Sapphire is a medical doctor and poet. She enjoys blogging, medical research writing, SEO, and editing.She writes SEO-related medical articles for an international library and serves as an editor for the Watchman Medical Professionals' Forum.Sapphire is passionate about helping people make better health choices through her writing. At leisure, she enjoys baking and watching movies.

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How does sleep deprivation affect creativity? ›

Lack of sleep impairs creativity

Among all the participants, the higher the level of visual creativity, the lower the quality of their sleep was. The researchers also found that the higher the participants' level of verbal creativity, the more hours they slept and the later they went to sleep and woke up.

What are 5 effects of sleep deprivation? ›

The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

What are the 3 main effects of sleep deprivation? ›

The primary signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation include excessive daytime sleepiness and daytime impairment such as reduced concentration, slower thinking, and mood changes. Feeling extremely tired during the day is one of the hallmark signs of sleep deprivation.

Does sleep deprivation cause lack of creativity? ›

Lack of sleep can negatively affect your creativity. Studies show that one night of losing sleep can significantly impair your creative thinking. For a sleep-deprived individual, this can lead to psychological and physical health issues.

How does sleep feed creative thinking? ›

The phenomenon attributed to sleep by scientists as 'pattern recognition' dictates that REM sleep is beneficial to the creative process. A study has shown that this stage of sleep helps the brain connect unrelated ideas, which in turn aids creative problem-solving.

Do creative people need less sleep? ›

Summary: The study compared art students and social science students, and found that art student sleep more hours, but reported more sleep disturbance and daytime dysfunction.

What are 2 dangers from lack of sleep? ›

However, chronic poor sleep may increase the likelihood of developing dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and even cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries and prostate. Poor sleep can also affect the ability to function while performing daily tasks like working or driving.

Which is a long term effect of sleep deprivation quizlet? ›

- Depression, Hypertension, Heart disease, Diabetes (2), Heartburn, obesity, some forms of cancer, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders (insomnia), accelerated aging process.

What are some of the consequences of sleep deprivation quizlet? ›

Not getting enough sleep over an extended period of time. Effects include: depression, obesity, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, heartburn, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, accelerated ageing process.

What is the most affected by sleep deprivation? ›

Systems affected

Heart and circulatory systems: Sleep deprivation has long-term damaging effects on your heart and circulatory health. People with chronic sleep deprivation are more likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia).

Does more sleep make you more creative? ›

The twilight zone between sleep and wakefulness may be a “creative sweet spot,” according to new research. Published this month in the journal Science Advances, sleep researchers in Paris found that spending at least 15 seconds in the first stage of sleep, or non-rapid eye movement, tripled creative problem solving.

Does sleep deprivation increase productivity? ›

Sleep deprivation negatively affects work performance—productivity and quality—and working relationships. Without adequate sleep, employees have more difficulty concentrating, learning, and communicating. Memory lapses increase. Problem-solving abilities decline.

Does sleep deprivation affect mental ability? ›

While insomnia can be a symptom of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and depression, it is now recognized that sleep problems can also contribute to the onset and worsening of different mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideation.

Why do creative people stay up late? ›

Hasler tells me that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with ability to concentrate, begins to falter as sleep drive increases at the end on the day. For some, this clears the way for more flexible thinking—and potentially, creativity.

Does sleep affect critical thinking? ›

The problem. When people don't get enough sleep, their attention and concentration abilities decline. Their reaction time lengthens, they're inattentive, and they don't respond as well toenvironmental signals. That means they can't take in new information or react to dangerous situations.

Does sleep help you pay attention? ›

Getting enough hours of high-quality sleep fosters attention and concentration, which are a prerequisite for most learning. Sleep also supports numerous other aspects of thinking including memory, problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing, and judgment.

Why most successful people sleep less? ›

They are outgoing. Less sleep offers these people the energy to go out and benefit from the social life around them. Thus they can connect and meet more people that will drive them to be more successful. Connecting and networking are important elements in getting more done and becoming more successful.

Do highly successful people sleep less? ›

But the majority manage to get at least 6 hours, as you can see in the list below detailing the sleep habits of 10 highly successful people: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1am — 7am) Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30pm — 4:30am) Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12am — 7am)

Why do artists have a hard time sleeping? ›

From personal experience, we know that a vibrant imagination can keep a brain awake through the wee hours and that a fear of sleeplessness can amplify one's inability to fall asleep! Some artists have argued that their insomnia is essential to their creative output.

Why does my chest hurt after no sleep? ›

When sleep is interrupted, a quick surge in heart rate and blood pressure can cause angina, and studies have detected a correlation between sleep deprivation and chest pain. Non-cardiac chest pain can be tied to sleep as well.

How long can you go without sleep? ›

The longest recorded time without sleep is approximately 264 hours, or just over 11 consecutive days. Although it's unclear exactly how long humans can survive without sleep, it isn't long before the effects of sleep deprivation start to show. After only three or four nights without sleep, you can start to hallucinate.

What happens if you don't sleep for a month? ›

But frequent or prolonged sleep deprivation can cause serious health issues. Lack of sleep can lead to poor cognitive function, increased inflammation, and reduced immune function. If sleep deprivation continues, it may increase your risk for chronic disease.

What are five effects of sleep deprivation quizlet? ›

Prolonged period of sleep deprivation that can cause obesity and hypertension, poor memory, lower concentration, diminished decision making, moodiness and irritability.

What are the negative effects of sleep deprivation on students? ›

According to Stanford Medicine, “Sleep deprivation increases the likelihood teens will suffer myriad negative consequences, including an inability to concentrate, poor grades, drowsy-driving incidents, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and even suicide attempts.

What are some consequences of sleep deprivation CDC? ›

Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression—that threaten our nation's health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work, which cause a lot of injury and disability each year.

How does lack of sleep affect you intellectually? ›

Scientists measuring sleepiness have found that sleep deprivation leads to lower alertness and concentration. It's more difficult to focus and pay attention, so you're more easily confused. This hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning or complex thought. Sleepiness also impairs judgment.

Does being tired make you more creative? ›

This makes sense when you consider the latest scientific brain theory, which suggests that fatigue can stimulate creativity. The idea is that when you are tired, less structured thoughts can sometimes randomly connect leading to insight. You gain a moment of sudden inspiration, recognition, or comprehension.

Why is your brain more creative when its tired? ›

You get tired at night? Your frontal lobe is missing some vital energy signals, and therefore you're going to end up being slightly more creative than regular. Not surprisingly: the same creative response your brain has to getting tired is the exact same as when you drink alcohol.


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